Kyrie Irving
Toronto Raptors 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
108 Philadelphia 76ers
Ed Davis, PF 42 MIN | 8-15 FG | 2-3 FT | 10 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | -5

Strong showing again, especially in the first half where his brand of “power basketball” was on display. Showed again that he can finish and rebound in traffic, but did get outplayed in one-on-one situations by Young. As seen by the assist count, the interior interplay was great again. Had a massive offensive rebound and a put-back in the fourth when the Raptors were on the ropes, at the time I thought he had pushed us through but alas, it was not to be.

Amir Johnson, PF 47 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | -13

Not as spectacular as some of the lines as he’s had recently, but some of those passes to Ed were great to watch, and even though his rebounding total is low, he caused enough disruption to matter, including a couple key offensive rebounds late in the fourth. Unfortunately, he gave up some key defensive rebounds to Hawes in OT which cost the Raptors precious seconds.

Landry Fields, SF 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -11

Started off well, getting a nice put-back dunk and a great block. Unfortunately for him, this turned out to be a game where you needed to have three ball-handlers on the floor and that isn’t Fields’ strength. No reason why he should be in the game on the final possession of regulation in a defensive situation when you know Philly’s about to drive and you need lateral quicks to counter that.

Jose Calderon, PG 20 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -4

Got burned a touch by Holiday but nothing to call 911 for I’d say. Casey just chose to play Lowry ahead of him, perhaps due to his earlier injury? Jose had a good overall game, nailed his shots and really, I would’ve had no issue playing him 35 minutes, assuming he was physically able. Did make a late OT introduction after skipping out on the fourth quarter which made no sense. Actually, his playing time and sub-pattern made no sense and I refuse to think about what Casey might’ve been thinking.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 33 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -10

Settled all night long. He was hitting his shots early thanks to some great setups for him, but he took it to heart and stayed on the perimeter all night long. He was lethargic in that dangerous third quarter where the Raptors were outhustled and outcoached, and looked to him to spark something (what was that turnover on the baseline under no pressure about?). There’s some hard thinking to be done when you, the franchise’s franchise player, gets benched in favor of Alan Anderson in the fourth. Took a horrible fadeaway with under a minute left in the fourth and was ineffective in OT (three missed jumpers, two threes), where’s the aggressiveness gone, man?

Quincy Acy, SF 15 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +11

Look at what we got here, this guy will make you forget about Lonny Baxter in no time. Good move by Casey to play him ahead of the cumbersome and lumbersome (I made that word up) Gray, and Acy delivered the way a second-round pick can: activity around the basket.

Kyle Lowry, PG 36 MIN | 3-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 11 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 11 PTS | -5

Got the call ahead of Calderon in the fourth because of his…defense? No idea, but thank God Casey realized that he needed to put shooters and ball-handling around him in the late third/fourth (Anderson and Ross) so that Philly could be punished for being so eager on the perimeter. Had a couple very costly and unforced turnovers in the fourth, including one coming out of a timeout, but overall, racked up the assists by finding shooters on the perimeter. Showed his true colors by having it picked off of him in OT, and then jacked up an ill-advised three followed by another brick that makes you scratch your head. Got punished by Holiday, but to be fair, there was no gameplan whatsoever on how to defend Holiday.

Alan Anderson, SG 34 MIN | 6-17 FG | 4-5 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -3

Big Money had two massive threes to create some breathing space in the fourth when it looked like Philly might just surge ahead for good. He soon followed them up with some seriously messed up attempts at going one-on-one. He’s being used beyond his capacity, let us not confuse his streakiness with shot-making.

Terrence Ross, SG 25 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | +5

Great first half with four threes and got iced by his coach for the first 8 minutes in the third when the game was calling, nay, begging for another ball-handler to be introduced to counter Philly’s insurgent defending. Credit to him for coming in late in the second and continuing his hot shooting, including some great mid-range shots where he had to detour after his initial move. No idea why the coach isn’t running some set-plays for him, and why we totally forgot about our hottest shooter as he only played the last five seconds of OT.

Dwane Casey

You basically have to gameplan for one single player when you play Philly and Casey had none for Jrue Holiday. Give him an F in the third quarter for not recognizing the fact that this was a small-ball game soon enough. The 1-1-3ish zone that Philly used in the third caused a lot of disruption and Casey’s answer to it was too late, and cost us momentum. He took a gamble by playing Lowry over Calderon for a big stretch, especially in OT, and the same with Anderson over DeRozan. Flirting with a Lowry/Calderon lineup late in OT when it wasn’t tested all night was a big risk and it backfired. His handling of Calderon and Ross’ playing time was horrible, and his out of timeout plays in OT were deplorable.

Five Things We Saw

  1. In the first, the Raptors shot 71% and Philly shot 38%. In the third, the Raptors shot 28% and Philly shot 72%. Those are the two key quarters which swung the tides.
  2. Calderon and Anderson completely screwed up the in-bound play which eventually let Philly tie game. Sure, Anderson got pushed but you have to execute better there. On the next play, the Raptors switched Fields on Holiday and still managed to concede the drive – unbelievable. Not even sure what Fields was doing in the game.
  3. Basketball is a game of confidence. Philly had none at the half when the Raptors were up big. The Raptors thought they had won it, came out complacent and Philly jumped on them after Doug Collins probably jumped on the Sixers.
  4. Casey’s lineups are completely non-sensical at times. Any continuity that a particular lineup develops by playing a few minutes together are not leveraged later in the game when lineups and matchups almost become randomized. BTW, where was Ross late in OT and why was DeRozan even playing ahead of him?
  5. Philly’d perimeter defense was intense in the second half, but the Raptors didn’t help their cause by obliging to take the contested jumpers that were on offer. There was no desire to drive the ball, and we were basically hoping that our shots were going to go in, rather than work hard for our offense. The 56-32 points in the paint advantage for Philly is the real stat.